US Still Has Worst, Most Expensive Health Care Of High-Income Nations

  • Americans spend an exorbitant amount of money on health care and have for years. As a country, the US spends more on health care than any other high-income country in the world—on the basis of both per-person costs and a share of gross domestic product.
  • Yet, you wouldn’t know it from looking at major health metrics in years past; the US has relatively abysmal health. And, if anything, the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated the US health care system’s failures relative to its peers, according to a new analysis by the Commonwealth Fund.
  • Compared with other high-income peers, the US has the shortest life expectancy at birth, the highest rate of avoidable deaths, the highest rate of newborn deaths, the highest rate of maternal deaths, the highest rate of adults with multiple chronic conditions, and the highest rate of obesity, the new analysis found.
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